How to Work from Home While Your Kids are There

Work from Home

Whether you just started a new job working from home or you’re temporarily working out of your home, finding ways to be productive while you work at home can be difficult. And it’s especially hard when you have kids at home with you while you’re working. But working from home with kids isn’t impossible! There are a few simple steps you can take each day to ensure your productivity doesn’t diminish as you’re working from home. Follow these easy tips while you’re working from home while your kids are there.

How to Work from Home While Your Kids are There

Adjust Your Schedule

One of the great things about working from home is that your schedule is often more flexible than it would be a traditional office. If you have the ability to choose your own hours, consider adjusting your schedule to fit your family’s needs. There are a few ways you can adjust your schedule to make working at home with kids work for you:

  • Take turns with your partner. If your partner is also working from home, sit down and create a schedule that allows one of you to work for a period of time while the other tends to the kids. And if your partner works outside the home, consider adjusting your schedule so that your work day begins when they get home from work.
  • Work while they sleep. Working at home with young children can be especially difficult. Instead of trying to juggle parenting and working at the same time, consider working while your little ones are sleeping. Naptime and bedtime are perfect for working because you can be sure the house will be quiet while you work.
  • Time block your day. Breaking your day into time chunks can help improve your productivity and help you enjoy your time working and your family time. It creates a flow that provides structure while also giving some flexibility. I found that time blocking worked well as I worked from home and homeschooled our two kids. In fact, this system gave me the advantage of having one-on-one time with my kids and I was able to work during their periods of free play time and quiet times.

Learn more about Time Block Your Day and get my FREE Time Blocking Worksheets.

Set Some Ground Rules

When you begin working from home, it’s a good idea to lay out some ground rules and create a daily schedule your entire family can stick to. Start by letting your kids know when you’ll be working, and explain what that means for them. Let them know that you’ll need to focus on a variety of tasks throughout the day and that means you won’t be able to take breaks to help them.

Then, outline when your kids can interrupt your work (while you’re answering emails) and when they can’t (when you’re on a phone call or when the door to your office is closed). It’s also important to create a schedule for your family–designated times throughout the day when you’ll be working and times when you can take a break and enjoy some time together as a family.

Communicate with Your Coworkers

If you’re working at home and will be expected to check in with your office from time to time, make sure everyone knows you have kids at home. Talk to your boss about adjusting your schedule to accommodate possible interruptions to your workflow or scheduling conflicts while your kids are at home. And make sure coworkers on video conference calls and phone calls are aware that your kids are at home so they can be prepared for possible background noise or interruptions.

Keep the Kids Entertained

If you can’t adjust your work schedule, you’ll need to find other ways of working at home while the kids are there. To minimize interruptions as you’re working, try to find quiet activities your kids can do while you work. These simple activities are great for keeping your kids occupied:

  • Read a book
  • Color or draw
  • Play educational games on their tablet
  • Make a kid-friendly craft
  • Build with blocks or LEGOs
  • Play with playdough
  • Watch a movie
  • Make a movie
  • Take photos
  • Edit photos or movies
  • Play a video game

My kids have fond memories of our art box and science box. I kept these boxes stocked and the kids could explore the boxes to do activities they selected on their own. These boxes kept my kids busy and learning while I worked.

Any quiet activity your kids enjoy doing is a great option! Before your kids get started, make sure to let them know they’ll need to play quietly while you’re working.

Take a Break

Breaks are a part of working in a traditional setting, so why not incorporate them into your at-home routine? Taking breaks is a great way for you to refresh and recharge. And it gives your kids a chance to ask you questions, get your help, or simply spend some time with you.

During your breaks, play a quick game with your kids, go for a walk around the neighborhood as a family, or just sit down and talk for a few minutes. These quick breaks are a great way to enjoy some time with your kids and help take care of their needs to prevent an interruption later in the day.

Ask for Help

If you’re constantly finding it difficult to work from home while your kids are there, it may be time to ask for help. In addition to reaching out for help from your significant other, consider others around you who can offer assistance throughout the day. If you have older kids at home, ask them to lend a hand with their siblings while you’re working.

Consider setting up playdates with your kids’ friends for a break throughout the week. Or reach out to a neighbor, babysitter, extended family member, or family friend to arrange care for your kids while you work.

As you are adjusting to working from home, be patient. Finding a balance when we make any new life change takes a bit of time. So, don’t get discouraged as you adjust your family’s routine to find what works. Be sure your kids know that finding the flow is a work in progress as well.

Listen to their thoughts and feelings as your family goes through the initial adjustment. The perfect schedule for one family might not work for another. Adjust and tweak as you fine-tune your perfect work-at-home balance.

Do you have thoughts and ideas to help others as they begin a new work from home routine? Share with us in the comments below!

Working from HomeMom Working From HomeMom working at home with daughter


  1. Bri on September 24, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    This is great! My husband works from home and I just started blogging so I’m trying to fit in office time too. And we have a two year old and will have a newborn next week! This will be so helpful for us!

    • Leah Nieman on September 25, 2020 at 4:27 am

      So glad. And how exciting! Take care and best wishes for a safe and healthy delivery for both you and your special little one.

  2. Ceci Rey on September 26, 2020 at 2:40 am

    Great information! It is difficult to work from home while kids are at home too! But, I find my husband being the source of conflict with all of us working from home…he may need a hobby!

    • Leah Nieman on September 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      My husband worked 2nd shift the entire time I was a WAH homeschooling mom. So, we definitely had to strike a balance in our home. My husband ended up helping my son with math when he was older. And, he took the kids to all their daytime activities. This seemed to work well for us. It gave me some quiet time to work during the day. And gave him some time with the kids. But there was a definite learning curve for us LOL

  3. Deb B on September 26, 2020 at 11:11 am

    THis is such a great post to remind us that it’s actually possible to work from home while homeschooling or having kids home. It seemed nearly impossible in the beginning but I’ve learned some strategies similar to yours on how to make it work. Currently, I’m working while the kiddos are sleeping and it makes all the difference. Much better than trying to fight the inevitable of balancing work and kids. Continued luck to you!

    • Leah Nieman on September 26, 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Yes! I am so glad you are finding some strategies that work for your family. I spent a number of years working late at night. It worked well for me since my husband worked 2nd shift. It was actually nice to be up when he got home. And, we just started our mornings a little later. Best wishes on a fantastic homeschool year!

  4. Sonia Seivwright on September 26, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I just lost my day job, so looks like I will be working from home more now. This was helpful.

    • Leah Nieman on September 26, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      I’m so glad it was helpful. I’m sorry to hear you lost your day job. I hope you find lots of great opportunities working from home.

  5. Alyssa on September 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Juggling career and parenting is not easy especially now that most of the kids are at home due to the pandemic. These tips are really helpful to be more organized! Thank you for this guide.

  6. Puja Kumari on September 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Great guide! During this lockdown period, it has become tough for people to mange work and kid both.

  7. Tasha on October 5, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Communicating with your co-workers is important so they know what you’re dealing with. There is a weekly Zoom call that I used to be on but wasn’t especially need on, and I had to tell the group that it was at a bad time since the baby was just waking up from a nap during that time and I simply couldn’t be on them anymore. Gotta do what you gotta do!

    • Leah Nieman on October 5, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Absolutely! It’s impossible to join a meeting when you need to get your baby up from a nap. It’s awesome you let your team know the timing didn’t work for you. My kids are now grown. So, I don’t have kid schedules to manage. But, we do run 2 businesses out of our home office. I know our home office is loud of full of people in the mornings. So, I always avoid early morning meetings. This is ideal for me because it gives me time to “coffee up” for my day LOL

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